Discovery returns today after a successful 14 day mission to install the Japanese Pressurized Module (JPM) and Kibo’s robotic arm system. Kibo’s logistics module was moved from the Harmony node to the JPM. Having delivered Greg Chamitoff, Discovery returns with Garrett Reisman who was working aboard the Space Station for the past three months. Discovery has two windows of opportunity to land today … Read the rest of this post …
Full Moon and Perigee Moon converge for a Supermoon
Track down two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta
Planetary pairings of Saturn and Mars, Jupiter and Venus
The Perseid meteor shower peaks
The Equinox restores balance to days and nights
Mars meets its rival, Antares
An early Harvest Moon occurs in September
Look out for Noctilucent Clouds
… to help search for the Mars Polar Lander. Remember the Mars Polar Lander which crashed on descent, December 3, 1999? NASA needs help locating it. If you think you have what it takes to search through eighteen 1.6 billion pixel images Read the rest of this post …
It’s official! An IAU committee in Oslo has now determined that all “small, nearly spherical objects orbiting beyond Neptune” will officially be called plutoids. Since Pluto’s demotion in 2006, the IAU has been disputing the correct classification for planets beyond Neptune. With the potential discovery of more orbiting bodies by modern high powered equipment, the IAU implies that it is important to maintain only eight planets in our solar system. So far, only Pluto and Eris have been branded as “plutoids”. Ceres does not fall under this category due to its location between Mars and Jupiter. This new discussion, of course, has reopened psychological Pluto demoting wounds caused by the IAU two years ago.
Here’s something interesting that just came across my search window: http://www.aurora.aero
On April 23 this year, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) revealed a program called VULTURE aimed at developing unmanned aircraft that have the ability to stay aloft for at least five years. Three of the items showcased at the press conference were Read the rest of this post …
How would you like to read stories about Earth as told by some being from a different world? Would you like to know how beings from elsewhere perceive us? If you studied early history of any country or continent, you have an idea of how the stories would read. The perceptions would probably be full of misconceptions, such as Percival Lowell’s drawing of the Martian Canals (left). But a different planet?
The interest in casual star (or Moon) gazing is usually piqued when members of the general public hear that an observing session is available to them. Many people have telescopes that they “…just can’t seem to make work,” and they would really appreciate someone showing them how to use it. Other people have interesting questions to ask. Why not wrap all of this up into one session and have fun doing it?
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Discovery STS-124 Astronauts are set and ready to go today at 5:02pm EDT. Watching NASA TV video stream, it was interesting to observe the astronauts as they were assisted into their harnesses and strapped into place. Next year we will have a six person crew on board the Space Station maintaining and operating the Station along with performing multiple scientific experiments.
STS124 will be carrying extra unplanned cargo – hand delivering parts for the nonworking toilet on the Space Station. Discovery will dock with the Space Station on Monday.
Update: Discovery launched on a beautiful day and there were no issues to delay another perfect launch. With everything on track, Discovery left the blue planet transporting seven highly trained individuals to the International Space Station right on time.
GLAST is an extremely powerful space observatory whose goal is to answer all those unknowns in reference to black hole systems, pulsars, the origin of cosmic rays … the list goes on. The mission is a NASA developed collaborative partnership involving the US Dept. of Energy with contributions from international academia in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the US. Read the rest of this post …